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How do you eat an elephant?

This post is part of a weekly series exploring the “Better Together Branding Initiative” a diocesan-wide project helping parishes refresh their brands and digital presence.



“One bite at a time” a good friend of mine said in the middle of a complex project. If there’s anything spending three years south of the Missouri border (Alabama, to be precise) taught me, it’s that southerners have an uncanny ability to marry humor and truth in their catchy one-liners.

That’s stuck with me. It’s a phrase I’m reminding myself of this week as I talk with parish website administrators across the diocese; learning about the specific needs their communities rely on their website for, the goals they’ve set for their new websites and the challenges they would like to solve by investing their time and talents into their parish’s digital presence.

For parishes who walk through the branding process with my office, the diocese is also able to offer support and direction in developing new parish websites through a contract with Blackbaud, an industry leader in WordPress developed sites.

As developers at Blackbaud work on the infrastructure for our websites, I am working ahead with parish website admins to catalog content across their websites and social media platforms. As we meet, we are discussing the purpose of our websites, the items we know parishioners are looking for online, and how we can improve the experience of visitors.

My hope for the scope of this project is to refresh each parish’s digital presence in such a way, that their parishioners and community members can rely on these pages to enrich their spiritual lives, help them get to Mass on time, and dive deeper into their parish community and ministry opportunities. One advantage to these websites integrating across the diocese, is the ability for our Diocesan offices to provide content that is relevant, accurate and up-to-date for parish websites.

“Better together” rings true when it comes to partnerships across the web that help visitors find exactly what they’re looking for, and maybe even surprise them with news, events, and ministry opportunities they didn’t know they were missing.

These websites will be beautiful, easy-to-use and understand, and easy for the parishes to manage with training and support from both Blackbaud and my office.

This is a great undertaking for our diocese, and requires a great investment of attention, time and resources in planning and developing processes that will set us all up for long-term success. Over the next few weeks, I hope to share pieces of that process and insight into our decisions and progress here in the Better Together Branding Initiative blog series.

So far, this process has been challenging and not without reward. Every parish I’ve spoke with so far has been excited, insightful and so charitable. I am looking forward to scheduling more of these calls and making progress this spring! So, here’s to “one bite at a time”, one phone call at a time, one step forward, one more day working “better together.”

Warmly,



Ashley M. Wiskirchen
Director of Parish Communications
Diocese of Jefferson City
Office: 573.635.9127 ex. 231
Email: awiskirchen@diojeffcity.org


If your parish is beginning to think about evolving, refreshing or developing your brand, I’d love to chat. Please consider my office a valuable resource to you, to consult, walk through some discovery and provide you with high-quality resources to get the ball rolling. Send me an email or schedule a phone call with me if you’d like to chat one-on-one about how to build momentum or start your branding project today.